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Up next for NIU men’s basketball

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

WHO: Northern Illinois (5-22, 3-11 Mid-American Conference) at Toledo (13-13, 8-6 MAC)

WHEN: 6 p.m., Savage Arena, Toledo, Ohio

RADIO: AM-1360 WLBK, FM 98.9

LAST MEETING: Toledo defeated NIU, 69-64, on Feb. 2

SCOUTING THE ROCKETS: While the Huskies sit tied for last in the MAC West, Toledo is still in the hunt for a division title and is one game back of Western Michigan with two to play, so this is a must-win for the Rockets if they want to win the title outright. Toledo is actually banned from postseason play because of poor APR scores, so the Rockets have a ton to play for this week. Toledo puts a lot of points on the board at home, and Northern Illinois coach Mark Montgomery mentioned the need to get back in transition. Rockets junior guard Rian Pearson leads the MAC with 18.2 ppg.

OUTLOOK: The Huskies can still get out of the MAC West cellar – they sit tied for sixth with Central Michigan, and could also gain some much-needed momentum heading into the MAC tournament. NIU will be without sophomore wing Abdel Nader, who Montgomery said is going through some personal and family issues. Montgomery isn’t sure when his leading scorer, who missed Saturday’s 69-50 loss to CMU, will be back. Freshman guard Mike Davis made his first start against the Chippewas, and had a career-high 12 points.

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